Not only is today MY birthday, but my debut novel came out six years ago this month. It’s my book’s birthday!
We could eat cake and ice cream in celebration, I could tell you about all the labor I went through to push this baby out, or we could look at pictures of my baby and coo. But really, what I want to talk about is dedicating my baby.
Go ahead and coo first…
Feel free to grab cake and ice cream, too, if you want.
Now back to the dedication.
I love dedicating my books. They are a little piece of me, but I couldn’t have created them on my own. Seeing them come to life is a humbling experience. And I am so grateful. Unbelievably grateful.
I cry every time I write my acknowledgments. Happy tears. Giggling-all-by-myself-though-I-know-God-must-be-looking-down-and-laughing-too tears. The kind of tears we were created to cry.
My first book I dedicated to an amazing couple in my life. The book was a romance, as you probably guessed from the pic above since the model is wearing a wedding dress. But I was crying lots of sad tears at this time I sold this book because my own marriage was falling apart. I was living in Kevin and Rebecca’s basement with my three children. I learned a lot from them while I lived there. I remember Kevin coming home and Rebecca telling him, “The kitchen drawer is broken.” Kevin said, “Okay, I’ll fix it,” instead of getting angry at her. I was like, “Oh. That’s what love is supposed to look like.”
I was so thankful God let me write a book about love even though I’d obviously failed at it. And I was thankful for Kevin and Rebecca’s love for me. At the time, the only thing I could give them in return was my book dedication. I meant every single heartfelt word.
Since then, I’ve remarried, and I rereleased that first novel.
Here’s my baby all grown up:
This time it’s dedicated to my husband who has also shown me what love is. The first time he told me he loved me, I said, “I don’t know what that means.” He said, “I will show you with everything that I am.” He puts my heroes to shame.
Here I go talking about love again, when I’m supposed to be talking about dedications, but maybe they are one and the same. They are an expression of my affection for the people in my own life story.
I loved writing my children’s series with my kids and dedicating the books to them.
I loved writing the story of a pastor’s daughter (who can’t forgive her dad for running off with the church secretary until she falls for her own pastor) and dedicating it to my parents who are THE most merciful people in the world.
I loved dedicating my Christmas romance to my best friend who was “a gift from heaven” at a time when I felt like I had nothing left. This year she invited me to speak at a Mother’s Day brunch at the old folk’s home where she works as activities director. I got to announce in front of all her residents and coworkers that I was dedicating the book to her.
Sometimes it’s fun to make other people cry happy tears, too.
Most recently I created a new baby with Love Inspired Suspense. This one I couldn’t have finished without the inspiration of my oldest stepdaughter. So I dedicated it to my step-kids. I was hoping to give a copy to my stepdaughter when she was here for Thanksgiving, but the package missed her by a day. I just had to send them all a photo.
I kinda wanted to make them cry happy tears, but I probably cried enough for all of us.
Dedication means both “self-sacrificing devotion” as well as “a name prefixed to a literary production in tribute to a person.” I’m able to prefix all these names to the front of my stories because of their self-sacrificing devotion to me. And there’s nothing else I’d rather celebrate on my birthday.
Though cake is good, too.